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This just in…

Friday, Jun 29, 2007

[Bumped to the top because nothing else is going on. News on the leaders meeting is in green.]

* 9:44 am - The House’s schedule for July was just approved. They’ll be back on Tuesday, July 10th. Senate President Emil Jones has said he won’t return until the following day. Update: The Senate will also return on the 10th.

* 9:51 am - Even though the House has just 87 out of 118 members present today, it was still able to override a gubernatorial veto. The House is now in recess until the Senate takes action on the one-month budget. The Senate is due in at 10.

* 9:59 am - The House’s July schedule is now online.

* 11:09 am - The Senate has just passed the one-month budget.

* 11:13 am - The Senate has adjourned until Tuesday, July 10.

* 11:14 am - The governor is in town and the leaders meeting is scheduled for 11:30. Topic: Schedules going forward.

* 11:37 am - Note to newspaper editors: Before printing guest columns from ostensibly private citizens that repeat the governor’s talking points on the House-passed budget bill and call out individual legislators by name for their votes on that legislation, you might want to check first to see if aforementioned letter-writers are, in reality, professional activists who work for groups that are tied at the hip to the Blagojevich administration. Just saying.

* 12:08 pm - While we’re on the topic of the media, ABC7 sports anchor Jim Rose is emceeing a fundraiser for Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias. Sounds kinda odd. This isn’t the first time that Rose has done an event with Giannoulias, either.

* 12:12 pm - The leaders meeting is being delayed because Speaker Madigan and Senate President Jones are in negotiations with the electric utilities on the rate relief package.

* 12:13 pm - Sen. Martin Sandoval’s full statement on the overtime session can be downloaded here.

* 12:36 pm - Illinois Family Institute claims “great lull in donations” has led to staffing cuts and reductions in publications, community outreach and its upcoming voter guide.

* 12:58 pm - Speaker Madigan left the electric rates negotiations a few minutes ago saying they had made “substantial progress,” which is what he said a couple of weeks ago.

* 1:17 pm - House GOP Leader Tom Cross walked into the governor’s office not long ago, so the leaders meeting should be starting soon.

* 1:30 pm -Democratic state Rep. Jack Franks is announcing today that he’s supporting Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid. Franks has spent the past week or two trying to line up support from his fellow legislators, without much luck. Go figure.

[The update about a special session has been moved here.]

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Peace to all - Friday, Jun 29, 07 @ 10:31 am:

    Did the senate pass a July budget then or no? Is there a budget for the month?

  2. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jun 29, 07 @ 10:33 am:

    Patience, please.

  3. - Milton - Friday, Jun 29, 07 @ 10:42 am:

    What ever happened to the 5-day work week? Milo has absolutely no influence.

  4. - Peace to all - Friday, Jun 29, 07 @ 11:18 am:

    Sorry Rich. I was just confused about the Senate adjourning until the 10th and I hadn’t heard anything yet. thanks for the update! Have a great vacation by the way!

  5. - BNdem - Friday, Jun 29, 07 @ 11:21 am:

    I know this is way of topic but I saw a Facebook Group for Jason Wallace for Congress. Does anyone know anything about this guy? All I know is he is a Dem running in the IL11? I have been very active in that district for along time and have never heard of him…

    Just wondering if anyone had any thoughts or knowledge?

  6. - Siyotanka - Friday, Jun 29, 07 @ 11:40 am:

    Ho hum….yawn…another flight, another $5K…then home for the fireworks…yawn!

  7. - decaturboy - Friday, Jun 29, 07 @ 11:44 am:

    What happen to Bob Flider’s pledge not to let the budget get pass until the electric rates were taken care of?
    I guess temporary budgets do not bring temporary electric rate relief?

  8. - Get Real - Friday, Jun 29, 07 @ 12:11 pm:

    Censorship - Freedom of the press Rich. Congratulations - let the media control even more what is published and what is not published. I am still waiting two months for my letter - not the Governor’s letter to be published in my anti-Governor, anti- health care reform and pro-status quo paper to print it. I thought the media was suppose to be balance and fair. How neive. Get Real. The facts are clear on the impact that the House budget would do. So I guess it is ok for the Illinois Chamber and others to “manufacture” their statements and letters-to-the-editor and pass them out to their members and others to get published. You have moved from reporting gossip to manufacturing gossip and political spin so your “political insiders” will continue to provide you with “insight” at the expense of the public. Real education reform, much needed capitol improvements, real health care reform and cost containment. While I may have my issues with the Governor - DO NOT GIVE UP - DIG IN YOUR HEELS. The longer this drags out more and more of the public will get mad and become angry at the status quo, our state representatives and those who report it. Yes, it is easy to blame the media, but political spin and political inside games and now censorship - you deserve it.

  9. - L.S. - Friday, Jun 29, 07 @ 12:15 pm:

    decaturboy - either you’re taking cheap shots or you’re not very bright. I suppose Flider should vote let state government shut down? Stop paying state police and health care providers? This isn’t a year-long budget, it’s a temporary fix to allow continued negoiation on, among other things, rate relief. Take that hack argument elsewhere.

  10. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jun 29, 07 @ 12:18 pm:

    GR, who was calling for censorship, which is a governmental action? I’m just saying that papers ought to watch out for astroturf letters from paid shills.

  11. - L.S. - Friday, Jun 29, 07 @ 12:23 pm:

    So the guv’s people plant cookie-cutter letters in papers around the state and Rich is to blame for the spin? Dig in them heels, all it’s going to do is turn the Senate Dems slowly against the guv and and lead to the inevitable: a budget passed via a overridden veto.

  12. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Jun 29, 07 @ 12:26 pm:

    Get Real -

    Its not about censorship, its about full disclosure. Newspapers often run unedited opinions from interest groups as guest columns or op-ed pieces. But they ALWAYS disclose that individual’s interests/association when they list the author, so that readers can weigh the veracity of their statements and put their opinions into proper context.

    In this case, Jamie Pufahl works for the Campaign for Better Health Care, an organization that I happen to support, but one that is also a political ally of the Governor, information that is relavant when other politicians are being singled out for attack.

    Furthermore, a point which Rich didn’t mention. While the CBHC certainly has some expertise on the Medicaid payment cycle and breast cancer screenings, I think readers would be interested to know why a health care group is weighing in on the education budget and what qualifies them to do so.

    Finally, what a dumb, dumb move. Barbara Flynn Currie is not only one of the most powerful leaders in the House, she also has a lot of powerful allies in Chicago’s progressive community. Jim Duffett and Rod Blagojevich aren’t helping their cause one bit.

    Keep up the good work, Seth Webb.

  13. - Mr. W.T. Rush - Friday, Jun 29, 07 @ 12:40 pm:

    Not only has Seth’s Saps agreed to stop passing out and then lying about their nasty flyers; they have now scrapped plans to send agency directors to various downstate 4th parades to criticize House Dems….Could they be learning??????
    Stay tuned.

  14. - Health Care for All - Friday, Jun 29, 07 @ 12:46 pm:

    Dear Rich: On behalf of the 335 member organizations and the tens of thousands of supporters of throughout the state, your reporting on health care has been so off based and has sadly missed so many points and issues. We have been working on this issue since 1989, well before the majority of politicans who are in Springfield today were even elected. Contray to your either narrow view or lack of information, for over two years nearly all the major stakeholders particpated in a process called the Health Care Justice Act. Prior to that for two years the merits of the Health Care Justice Act was debated. For anyone to even suggest or state that “universal health care is now a new issue” they either have a political agenda to try to kill health care reform or need to get out of Springfield. As you do not know, but have never covered it, Ilinois Covered was conceived out of the process of the Health Care Justice Act. A consensus plan that was agreed upon by organized labor, providers, consumers, doctors, business rep, GOP representative on the Task Force, supported by appointeess by Senator Watson and Representative Cross and others. What an interesting story that would make Rich. This consensus plan even goes further in some areas of Illinois Covered. What you do not understand is that this issue isn’t about Governor Blagojevich. You think that it is and that probably sells more memberships to Capitol Fax. This issue isn’t even about the General Assembly. It is about accessible and affordable health care for Illinois families and businesses. it is the number one issue. We applaud Governor Blagojevich and/or other political leader who has the Profile of Courage to take on this issue instead of placating to the special interests and the political status quo. We will stand by anyone who will stand firm on this issue.
    In the end, we will win. Whether it is Michael Moore’s film that will add more attention which the opponents of fairness and health care reform will attack, and as this debate continues we have more time to organize more people. Stay tune. And yes no one tells what to do except our members. Thanks.

  15. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jun 29, 07 @ 12:49 pm:

    The return email address on that above comment from “Health Care for All” was the Campaign for Better Health Care. The commenter had the same IP address as the comment from the person who claimed I was advocating “censorship.”

  16. - A Citizen - Friday, Jun 29, 07 @ 12:52 pm:

    Uh Oh, Busted ! Don’t tug on Rich’s cape. The truth sets us free. Thanks, Rich !

  17. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jun 29, 07 @ 12:54 pm:

    By the way, Health Care for All, what I specifically wrote was that universal health care has not been a campaign issue for legislators. Unlike school funding, property tax relief, infrastructure, CTA, etc. You can’t take a new political issue and ram it through in one year. Go ahead and criticize all you want, but get your facts straight.

  18. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jun 29, 07 @ 12:56 pm:

    And one other thing that blog readers may not be aware of…

    The Campaign for Better Health Care leafleted Rep. Fritchey’s district with a flier criticizing him for supporting HB 750, the tax swap/education funding plan. The group has essentially become a propaganda arm of the guv’s office.

  19. - A Citizen - Friday, Jun 29, 07 @ 1:11 pm:

    Rich, where do they get their funding, does anyone know?

  20. - Team Sleep - Friday, Jun 29, 07 @ 1:11 pm:

    Full disclosure is a must. If a group is going to advocate what is essentially a raise in my taxes, I want to know who wants a tax increase and I would also like to know why one is needed and when it would occur. The same goes for any other group that wants to cut services and businesses taxes. If a business-backed group writes an Op-Ed in the SJ-R, it would be nice to see how fronts them the money for their studies and publications.

  21. - S. Illinois - Friday, Jun 29, 07 @ 1:21 pm:

    “Health Care for All” - I get so sick of people attacking others for supposedly being against providing affordable health care for everyone. Sure, we’d all like to have equal access to affordable health care, but how the heck are you going to pay for it? Until YOU come up with a workable plan, quit demonizing those with the smarts to say we can’t have what we can’t pay for.

  22. - A Citizen - Friday, Jun 29, 07 @ 1:51 pm:

    The gov just wants to mess with your vacation Rich. Is he planning on trying to revive the grt or health care or do you know what the “special” is about?

  23. - 6'2" Yeti - Friday, Jun 29, 07 @ 1:53 pm:

    We need more details about this “Special Session”

  24. - Jimmy crackcorn - Friday, Jun 29, 07 @ 1:53 pm:

    Every meeting with Rod is special, Citizen.

  25. - A Citizen - Friday, Jun 29, 07 @ 1:57 pm:

    Jimmy - He’s calling them into “special” - that doesn’t mean he’ll be there any more than he is at other times. T-ball time for the kids, dontchaknow!

  26. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jun 29, 07 @ 2:05 pm:

    Please move the special session comments to this thread. Thanks.

  27. - cg - Friday, Jun 29, 07 @ 2:11 pm:

    I’m so sick of people calling Illinois Covered a plan that creates universal coverage. It isn’t. It attempts to reduce the cost of health insurance plans through subsidies and expansion of Medicaid buy-in programs. Without an individual or employer mandate, it won’t have much impact on the number of uninsured. Anyone who understand the ‘take up’ issues with government programs should also know this. I support the idea, but think it is a poorly planned piece of legislation. Wasn’t there another plan that CBHC was pushing, the Health Care Justice Plan or something? It had support from all sorts of groups, right? What happened to that proposal?

  28. - cg - Friday, Jun 29, 07 @ 2:32 pm:

    Ok, I stand corrected - “Health Care for All” seems to think that Illinois Covered was the plan from the Health Care Justice Act. Call me crazy, but Illinois Covered doesn’t look like this:
    Again, great idea, but poor piece of legislation.

  29. - scoot - Friday, Jun 29, 07 @ 3:45 pm:

    Right when I’m ready to jump on Rep. Franks bandwagon…he supports Billary?

  30. - zatoichi - Friday, Jun 29, 07 @ 5:26 pm:

    The IDPH health care report cg talks about was put together by Navigant Consulting. They do a pretty good job, but it seems DHS cannot move without using these people and now IDPH. Navigant must be making a pile of cash from consulting with State of Illinois govermental agencies. Isn’t there anyone within state goverment who can do this type of work?

  31. - IIn the Sticks - Friday, Jun 29, 07 @ 5:47 pm:

    Letters rabidly supporting the governor have appeared in the SJ-R Letters-to-the-Editor that were from relatives of a top governor staffer. Are they really from the letter writer or from the governor’s spin machine?
    Those staffers probably are required to have so many letters submitted each week from “the people” supporting the gov, in much the same way that agency directors are required to have a minimum of 5 pro-governor events each month.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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